Spike Lee's recent comments about gentrification have been a sensitive issue since his appearance at Pratt Institute on Tuesday night. The controversy has finally turned into action, as the home next to the one Lee grew up in was defaced with the words "Do the Right Thing."
NY1 reports that the Fort Greene, Brooklyn house had the words spray-painted on its exterior. The expression is, of course, a nod to Lee's 1989 film of the same name about racial tensions boiling over in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on the hottest day of the summer. NY1 adds that glass on the building's front door was broken, as well.
During the now infamous denunciation of gentrification, Lee cited recent Fort Greene imports calling the police on his jazz musician father as a primary trigger for his ire:
My father’s a great jazz musician. He bought a house in nineteen-motherf*****’-sixty-eight, and the motherf*****’ people moved in last year and called the cops on my father. He’s not — he doesn’t even play electric bass! It’s acoustic! We bought the motherf*****’ house in nineteen-sixty-motherf*****’-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the fuck outta here!
While NY1 says that many neighbors suspect the vandalism is an act of retaliation against Lee, another neighbor, Dianne Mackenzie, believes the message was intended for the neighbors who complained about the music:
I think that somebody was probably trying to retaliate against the other neighbors who complained about the music rehearsals that are always on going in the Lee's house — ever since I moved here. Never bothered me at all. There is no excuse for spray painting some one's house, No matter what you feel. There are other avenues for protest if that's what you want to do.
Whatever the motive, police will launch an investigation to determine whether or not the graffiti—which also appears to include an anarchy symbol—is associated with Lee's comments.
This unfortunate incident comes after Lee appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to provide insight regarding his words, as well as his overall issue with gentrification.